The Pickford Bros, developers of Plok, Wetrix and Naked War, are releasing playable prototypes of new game concepts through their iOS game Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint.
The latest version of the pair's BAFTA-nominated riff on billiards can now be used to play two prototypes: "fast-paced jumping play-control experiment" I Sent My Monkey To The Moon; and "radically redesigned gravity-based game mode" Squish. Both prototypes use existing code and assets to avoid the need for hefty downloads.
John Pickford said: "This is the future of original game development! We can try out new gameplay concepts by presenting them to our audience, gauging reaction, soliciting feedback, and building anticipation for their eventual release."
Ste Pickford added: "We're offering players an insight into how original games are designed, and how they change and evolve during development. Having players involved and engaged at this stage of the process allows them to give us feedback at the earliest opportunity, guiding and influencing the way the finished game turns out.
"We're not precious about our prototypes though – as game designers we regularly try out risky new ideas. If they don't work we'll abandon them, but if players respond positively then we'll know we're going in the right direction."
Interesting stuff, and it doesn't end there: the duo intend for Blueprint to serve as an "incubator" for their new ideas. "A lot of indie developers are finding innovative ways to develop games with audience participation," Ste Pickford explained.
"Our incubator plan is to make Blueprint an essential product… not just because it's a great game in itself, but because it offers players a unique opportunity to be involved in the design of future videogames."